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Labour defections over Budget? Who would that be then? December 3, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

According to the Irish Times:

A number of TDs said last night they expected the party to suffer more defections on the budget vote to add to the four Dáil members who have already lost the whip.
The numbers involved are expected to be small and should not therefore endanger the Government majority.
However, at least one backbencher said that, based on the details of the budget leaked so far, he saw his immediate future outside the parliamentary party opposing cuts rather than defending “the indefensible”.

I’m wracking my brain to think of who would be likely to walk now. Any suggestions?

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1. greengoddess2 - December 3, 2012

WBS, Michael McNamara is in that article. Or perhaps you’re being ironic. In which case I’ve made an eegit of myself. Again .

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

Definitely not ironic. But his apostasy seemed hedged in one caveat too many for my liking…

2. sonofstan - December 3, 2012

The numbers involved are expected to be small and should not therefore endanger the Government majority

Like d’uh……

Wouldn’t 24 have to defect before the Government majority was endangered? Unlikely I would have thought.

3. Ian - December 3, 2012

Joanna Tuffy maybe? I’m nearly certain she voted against coalition.

Tomboktu - December 3, 2012

She did vote against the coalition, but did accept a committee chair…

4. irishelectionliterature - December 3, 2012

Wonder would Eamonn Maloney be one.

5. sonofstan - December 3, 2012

If three were to defect, and get together with the four already gone, would they be entitled to be recognised as a group within the Dail?

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

That’s a very interesting question. Are they Independents once they walk or do they retain their original stated identification? I think it’s the latter, in order to dissuade people from defecting. But if the former then their only option would be the Technical Group because there can only one group beyond parties in any given Dáil.

sonofstan - December 3, 2012

People have crossed the floor though haven’t they? O’Leary from Labour to FG……were the PDs organised as a group in the Dail between their formation and the ’87 election?

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

They did indeed, but IIRC it’s not ‘official’, they can vote with their new pals, etc… but that’s about it. I don’t think they get Dáil services. Could be wrong, but that’s my sense of it.

sonofstan - December 3, 2012

I’m sure you’re right. Anyway, there’s no chance the LP defectors would organise.

Jolly Red Giant - December 3, 2012

No – they were not elected as a seperate group.

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

I think you’re right JRG. That’s the crucial point. And just thinking back, remember when Beverley Flynn was elected as an Independent in 2007? She subsequently rejoined FF but was allocated none of the provision of services that FF had.

6. Blissett - December 3, 2012

Joanna Tuffy would be one that would jump to mind. I wouldnt be stunned at Ciarán Lynch, which would really be one in the eye for Kathleen. Eamonn Moloney also makes sense

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

Okay, both you and Ian and IELB make a convincing case. Potentially three. Perhaps more.

And as to the present, someone, I think it was Tomboktu, put it to me, has there ever been a party of government with proportionately so many TDs offside?

Tomboktu - December 3, 2012

Not quite. What was pointed out to me, and which I passed on, was that the last time a Dáil party lost so many TDs (even before what may come on Wednesday next), a new political party was formed. Maybe we could get a real social democartic party…

sonofstan - December 3, 2012

I doubt it.

Or rather I doubt that any of those currently outside the PLP would want to form a new party. I would say most of them feel the Labour Party has left them, and will sit out the current leadership and hope the party comes back to them. Remember, 3 out of 4 currently without the whip were Labour TDs before the current leader was even a member of the party.

Tomboktu - December 3, 2012

“3 out of 4 currently without the whip”.

Um… isn’t it only three without the Labour whip: Broughan, Nulty and Shortall. (Penrose, pointedly, did not resign or lose the whip.) Or am I missing somebody?

sonofstan - December 3, 2012
Tomboktu - December 3, 2012

My bad.

smiffy - December 4, 2012

Was that the Workers Party split in 92? If so, there’s a big difference, in that the 6 TDs who left at that stage left the party entirely. I don’t think any of the Labour ‘dissidents’ have gone that far.

sonofstan - December 4, 2012

I thought he meant the PDs?

7. Mark P - December 3, 2012

It could be pretty much any backbencher or even Junior Minister. For those boys and girls this is essentially an IQ test. Labour backbenchers have nothing to gain by being in government and a lot to gain by becoming half in / half out “rebels”.

WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2012

One would certainly have to be deeply sceptical about any LP TD who defected at this late stage in the day. Broughan and Nulty did the decent thing at the decent time, given that they’re left social democrats but didn’t want to break entirely with their party. Anyone though following after them is in quite a different position.

Tomboktu - December 3, 2012

II agree that individual TDs going now would not be that impressive, but if a group of three or more were to go as a co-ordinated group, it could be effective in challenging (or provoking) the leadership. (Mischievous addition: After all, isn’t better organisation part of what the SP call for? ;))

tomasoflatharta - December 4, 2012

I agree with Mark P – half in / half out sums it up. Moving on, it is now clear that the FG / LP coalition has entered the zone occupied by the previous FF / GP coalition – it has lost majority support after 22 months in government.

8. sonofstan - December 6, 2012

Today on Labour dissident watch: The Journal reporting that Michael Conaghan and Eamonn Maloney are seeking a meeting with Joan Burton to discuss reversing the cuts in CB. Interestingly, the two men have something in common apart from being from Donegal – both are former members of the DSP.

WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2012

I looked at the serried ranks of LP over the past 24 hours in the Dáil and I wondered how many, not all, but many with pasts in the WP, DSP et al could sit there and accept it. And I came to the conclusion that in a way it was perhaps easier for them because they felt innoculated by their own backgrounds against what they considered to be far leftism. And that almost in and of itself provides its own justification for near enough anything as long as the far left are agin it.

And isn’t that a contorted mindset?

9. Jack Jameson - December 6, 2012

Not a member of Dáil, but…
Statement by Nessa Childers MEP on Budget 2013 “A missed opportunity – with women & lower-paid negatively and disproportionately affected”

Jack Jameson - December 6, 2012

Sorry, I overlooked the first post :)

10. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 6, 2012

Broughan fairly lashed into Gilmore on Matt Cooper. He singled out Gilmore for poor leadership prior to the general election and Rabbitte for bad decision making in 2007 (the deal with FG)- but he also said both men were ‘terrified’ of being in opposition again.
Personally I think Rabbitte believes in nothing beyond his own ego. His sneering at opposition speakers during the budget debate was stomach churning.

WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2012

And wow, who could blame Broughan. He made political points yesterday about the Budget and the LP and he was rewarded for his pains by extremely personalised attacks back. And he’s not wrong either in his analysis.

I find Rabbitte very hard to fathom. There was a prog on before the last election, or was it the one before and he was filmed in his constituency and his line was sort of almost hand wringing about those ‘less well off’ rather than empowering as would befit someone who had been further left or even left social democrat. It could have been an FFer or FGer speaking.

irishelectionliterature - December 7, 2012

Labour’s Broughan Slams Budget

An extract aboutthe exchanges between Labour deputies and Broughan.

“A number of Labour TDs heckled Mr Broughan as he spoke during a debate on capital taxation.

Mr Broughan said “the hard road for Labour Party Deputies to take is to walk beside me but they have chosen to take the easy way out. The hard way is to stand up and be counted and to seek to form a Government led by the Labour Party.”

Labour Chief Whip Emmet Stagg said Mr Broughan “chose the easy way by walking away”.

Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphreys said Mr Broughan “has always been consistent in that when the going gets tough, he always gets going. Has never in his life stayed around for a decent fight.”

Broughan also has an article on his own site

11. Tomboktu - December 7, 2012

At lunch today, two of my colleagues said they are relieved that Labour is in government with Fine Gael. One said she was felt it was Labour that had stopped Fine Gael from cutting social welfare rates, and another said she believd it would have been far worse for poorer people if Labour wasn’t at the cabinet table to restrain Fina Gael.

Although both would be Labour leaning, thay have both been critical of Labour when the topic has come up in conversation before, so they are no red-rose eyed does.

12. doctorfive - December 13, 2012

Keaveney votes against respite cut

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